The Student Association (SA) Senate passed a highly-contested resolution last Monday to remove an election rule that prohibited campaigning for SA positions in forums with 10 or more non-candidates without approval from the Elections and Credentials Chair.
SA Senator Cameron Kiner introduced the resolution, which was approved with six votes in favor and five abstentions. The change will allow candidates to campaign freely in forums, regardless of the number of attendees.
The previous rule existed to ensure all candidates have a fair opportunity to be heard and adhere to all UB and SA rules concerning the use of space on campus.
Proponents of the amendment argued that SA lacks the power to fairly enforce this rule, considering some violations — especially those occurring in classrooms — will inevitably go unreported.
“This change is in recognition that we don’t have the power or strength to enforce this rule,” Mathew Dowd, the SA Hobby Council coordinator said. “Why try to punish people if some candidates are going to be able to get away with it and others can’t?”
Dowd is also a Spectrum staff writer.
Members against the amendment argued that without forum restrictions, candidates could use positions of power to propel their campaigns in ways that may be inaccessible to opponents.
“Stripping this rule [means] you can campaign at Late Night at UB — couldn’t do that before,” SA Senator Tyler Herman said. “You already have to be in a position of power to do that. It’s like we’re just pumping up people already in power who can get the forums.”
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